Lifelock Sued By Experian – Lifelock’s Promotional Efforts and Response

Lifelock promotional code: IDENTITY
(Saves you $21 and gives you 30 days free of Lifelock’s service)

Experian has sued Lifelock, a company that done a LOT in the promotion of their Identity Theft protection products.
Experian’s basis for this lawsuit is that LifeLock’s advertising is misleading and that Lifelock is breaking federal law in the way it uses fraud alerts to protect the information of consumers.
Experian has said that because LifeLock’s chief ID theft prevention tool — the placing of fraud alerts on individuals’ credit files – is being done by a company, rather than through the individual consumer or through someone acting on behalf of the consumer, that Lifelock is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Fair Credit Reporting Act uses some ubiqutios language in stating whether or not fraud alerts can be placed by a company.
Experian’s lawsuit says:
“The FCRA does not permit the placement of an initial fraud alert by corporations such as LifeLock. Despite this prohibition, LifeLock has surreptitiously placed hundreds of thousands of fraud alerts on Experian’s files by posing as the consumer.”
What’s funny about this lawsuit is that Experian and the other credit bureaus have been required by the federal government to allow these fraud alerts to be placed… before the laws were passed, consumers in most states didn’t really have much recourse against the credit bureaus without hiring an attorney.
Fraud alerts last for 90 days. These alerts tell any company which requests a consumer’s credit that they need to be aware that imposters could be using this person’s credit. Fraud alerts are only supposed to be placed in the case that there is “suspicion of imminent fraud.”
Says Experian.
But with over 150 million records reported as compromised in the past 2 years alone (and who knows how many went unreported), isn’t there now always a reason for all of us to be concerned that there could be a situation for “imminent fraud?”
All it takes is one weirdo or other unwholesome character at any of the companies where I have insurance, any of the institutions where I do banking, any location where I use a credit card to buy something, at the DMV, at the post office, etc., and I can become an Identity Theft victim. I would say that makes the likelihood pretty high (perhaps even imminent?) that I could become a victim.
Experian says that placement of fraud alerts or really any promotion by LifeLock on behalf of any consumer who requests one also runs counter to federal law.
The service offered by LifeLock does include automated requests for new fraud alerts every 90 days. Lifelock actually renews these every 70 days, as Robert Prusinski told us in Lifelock’s Promotional Interview with Identity Theft Secrets. Renewing this every 70 days effectively creates a fraud alert which goes on indefinitely. Experian calls these “illegal fraud alerts.”

Lifelock’s public response has been to step up their online, TV, and Radio promotional efforts, saying that they have tried to build a business relationship with Experian, but that Experian is building business based on some different code than Lifelock.
Here’s Lifelock’s email of assurance (Retrieved for us by one of the Identity Theft Secrets Super Sleuths) to its promotional partners:

We are pleased to report that LifeLock is clearly becoming the industry leader in identity theft protection. As such, we recently became the target of what we believe to be a baseless lawsuit filed by Experian, one of the credit reporting bureaus.
The suit alleges, among other things, that LifeLock has committed fraud by failing to disclose that consumers can place fraud alerts themselves for free and that credit laws do not provide for a third party to place fraud alerts on behalf of a consumer. Of course, as you already know, LifeLock has always made clear you can perform our fraud alert services yourself, just as you can do your own taxes and wash your own car. We also believe the Fair Credit Reporting Act permits the service LifeLock provides.
We would welcome the opportunity to work out a business solution with Experian, but Experian has not demonstrated any inclination to reach an agreement with LifeLock.
We will vigorously defend ourselves and, in so doing, defend consumer’s rights to protect themselves from identity theft. We are confident we will be vindicated in court. LifeLock has always supported the intent and spirit of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and will continue to protect consumers by offering our industry leading proactive identity theft protection.
We also appreciate the groundswell of support from consumers and our partners nationwide. As our growth demonstrates, people see the value of what we do. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us, but be sure that what LifeLock has done, and will do, is continue to offer consumers the best and most comprehensive proactive identity theft protection available.
Todd Davis
CEO, LifeLock

Is Lifelock being deceptive? Is Experian being hard-nosed?
What are your thoughts?

Lifelock promotional code: IDENTITY
(Saves you $21 and gives you 30 days free of Lifelock’s service)


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16 Responses to “Lifelock Sued By Experian – Lifelock’s Promotional Efforts and Response”

  1. Hayden Baker Says:

    Am I slow or is Experian’s lawsuit so utterly transparent that it is pathetic? I think when I signed up for LifeLock they likened me signing up for LifeLock like changing your own oil…sure you could do it yourself…blah blah. So LifeLock made it clear to me that I was signing up for a service.
    Now Experian just made it clear in its lawsuit that they are greedy and jealous.
    Incidentally, I DONT know now to change my oil. I hope Experian doesnt go after Jiffy Lube…I and my engine block will be screwed.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Lifelock cannot prevent ID Theft because there are many other ways that theives can use our info besides financial. Can lifelock prevent someone from getting a drivers’ license in my name, PUTTING THEIR PICTURE SO IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE ME and committing a crime that now goes on my record? What about medical ID theft, or someone using my social to gain employment?? Wake up people, putting a fraud alert on my credit will not stop all forms of ID Theft, which by the way, by definition means someone using any identifiying info to commit fraud. Someone taking out credit in your name is ID fraud, not theft. Lifelock CANNOT PREVNET id tHEFT!!!!! sTOP BEING GULIBLE! THE SS# GIVEN IN THE ADS HAS BEEN COMPRIMISED!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Sounds like it doesn’t matter how your ID is stolen, in the stuff i read LifeLock will help you fix it if you are a customer their $1 million gaurantee”. How is that gullible.

  4. Greg Flynn Says:

    Lifelock CEO Todd Davis is a fraud!!! There is no company in America or anywhere else that can stop ID Theft. If the FTC (who is trained by the way) cannot stop it, explain how he thinks that he can. It is impossible to stop. All that can be done is to have anoption once you become a victim. And since Mr. Davis indicated that he is a “Certified Identity Theft Risk Specialist…” why won’t he address the fact that all he is doing is “attempting” to protect peole from CREDIT CARD FRAUD!!!! There are other types of ID Theft that can do 1000 times the damage.. like “MEDICAL ID THEFT”, or perhaps, “CHARACTER/CRIMINAL ID THEFT”. I challenge anyone out there to call Lifelock and ask them if the get arrested in the middle of the night for a DUI in a state that they have never been in, if Lifelock can help them. I CHALLENGE you. Todd Davis is a fraud and I hope that the court system rips him apart. I know of only one company that can help you once ID Theft happens and if you contact me . [EMAIL REMOVED FOR BLATANT ADVERTISING]…. I will share it with you.
    Todd Davis… I hope you can swim… because you and your company are drowning!!!!

  5. Molly Baker Says:

    Read the fine print on the $1 million guarantee. It is virtually impossible to get LifeLock to reimburse you if you are a customer and become an ID theft victim.

  6. joaquin Says:

    Great post.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    That million dollor guarentee is a fraud. Like the man above stated “read the fine print”. Life Lock can not stop ID theft. They will lose in court. This site is backing them because they are a advertisement for them. I lost alot of respect for this site.

  8. Identity Theft Secrets Says:

    To the anonymous commenter above who “lost a lot of respect for this site”:
    We’d love to be able to directly address your concern with you, but you didn’t leave any contact information for us to do so.
    IdentityTheftSecrets has never said or suggested that people should buy Lifelock.
    We have simply said that IF you are going to sign up for Lifelock, you should use a promotional code to do so, because you will save money on Lifelock that way.
    Hope that clears up any confusion.

  9. Stephen A. Frew Says:

    Whether you like lifelock or not, Experian’s objection is apparently that they don’t like having to put the fraud alerts on a lot of accounts, which increases its costs. Tough.
    My wife and I have received data breach notices in the past 6 months, and false credit card charges in the thousands of dollars this year.
    Sure, I could submit the fraud alerts myself, but #1) I would forget to update them #2) once your ID is compromised, it goes on and on, and 90 days simply is not enough protection.
    As an attorney and certified ID theft risk manager, I have chosen to use Lifelock as my means of assuring ongoing credit protection notices. I find it completely bogus that Experian maintains that they are not acting on my behalf because they are a corporation. The signup with them includes a written designation of the company as my agent.
    Yes, I pay them do what I could do for myself. It is simply more reliable and cost effective to have a dedicated service provider to do it for me.
    The objection that a company is doing the notification is completely off-point. Most law firms are corporations, and Experian would not suggest an attorney cannot file a fraud alert on your behalf.
    I also subscribe to a credit report service. Some of my homeowner’s insurance covers some of my ID theft risks, and various insurance companies sell ID theft insurance to protect businesses. The person saying “read the policy” is correct — you should always know the limits of what you are buying — but I recommend that every business and most individuals have an identity protection strategy and follow it.
    Mine includes LifeLock.

  10. billy scott Says:

    hey guys ive been a victim of identity theft and researching the epidemic for 5+ years now.
    and as far as lifelock is concerned someone above hit it right on the head when he suggested to read the fine print because if you understand their $1,000,000 policy it states that they will grant it “IF THE BREACH WAS LIFELOCKS FAULT” in other words you will only be reimbursed if your problem was caused by some type of breakdown in lifelocks system. otherwise you get a do-it-yourself kit and guidance on how to handle it yourself.

  11. billy scott Says:

    im not here sell my companies product and not to be bias but i personally represent the “REAL INDUSTRY LEADER” in terms of risk consultant management. KROLL WORLDWIDE – theyve been around for almost 35 YEARS (not months). They were called in by the federal government to tackle situations such as the “ENRON” case and other very big situations like called on to assist with “9/11”.
    they partnered with Pre Paid Legal services to create a suite of products that blows the industry away. Now they have the only service that services clients before, during, and after ID theft takes place, with PPL they give their members access to a network of 2,700 lawfirms (because alot of IDT victims can benefit from the assistance of an attourney) and they are also the only service provider that does restoration for all 5 areas (FINANCIAL – CRIMINAL/CHARACTER – DMV – MEDICAL – SOCIAL SECURITY)
    you dont have to take my word for it Pre Paid Legal is publicly traded on the NYSE and Kroll is on the Nasdaq. any more details you can contact me at [REMOVED]
    IdentityTheftSecrets Note: You don’t want to post your email address in any future postings. You’re just opening up yourself to all kinds of SPAM.

  12. angela Says:

    LifeLock is not a system whereby you “eliminate the possibility of IDT”, rather it appears to me to be the front-line screener on a person’s behalf to alert them that something is amiss. My world is already too chaotic to maintain this type of front-line screening. This would be why I would utilize LifeLock. (And absolutely not for a “guarantee” – they should take that out of their language and offer….I do believe it sounds misleading to a potential consumer.)
    I have been a victim of a bizarre form of identity theft, whereby (it appears) that Experian merged someone else’s very bad credit history into mine based on name alone. This person had my name, but a completely different SS#, address and even work history. (I have lived in the same place for over 20 years.) So based on NAME ALONE, I have all kinds of collection reports all over my credit and a year later, with assistance from a lawyers and over 20 disputes (mainly with Experian) I have ended up with the short end of the stick.
    The reason I am posting a comment?
    We need large corporate assistance to bring Experian (and the other credit reporting agencies) into accountability. Apparently the FTC can’t seem to do it. Why it is legal for these companies to also house “marketing branches” is beyond me. They sell our PI! How that is not a clear conflict of interest, I don’t know.
    The power Experian has to decimate a person’s financial life is apparently unchecked and the cost to individuals is incalculable.
    Because of their size and power, there is nothing I can do about it as an individual, nor you, nor the next person – individually. We need a powerhouse to stand up for our individual rights.
    I appreciate LifeLock for being one.

  13. Larry Brown Says:

    I appreciate Lifelock coordinating keeping track of filing fraud alerts. Without using their SERVICE one has to file the same reports with 3 different bureaus/companies 4 times annually. I subscribed to Lifelock because of the high probability I would forget to do so. Furthermore, Experian and the other 2 companies will provide the credit alert protections after the initial report for a fee that is more expensive than Lifelock.

  14. Bob Says:

    but it is important to keep in mind that lifelock offers other things beside fraud alerts, and also there are other protection services that do a whole lot more than they do for a similar price.

  15. kevin Says:

    the trouble is that the promotions suggest that this is like an insurance you really must have.
    It literally claims to stop identity theft before it happens. Now go read the full service agreement. You agree that you have evidence that your identity is about to be stolen! who can agree to that. Further, you agreee to terminate the service once the threat has been abated. how about that! Finally, you agree to protect all of your sensitive data. On that last one it sounds like they’re saying they could terminate your protection if you, say, were found giving your SS number out on a radio advert 5 times an hour. In summary, I could not see how I could sign up for this service based on reading the agreement. It does not match the way the service is promoted.

  16. Bennie Says:

    Here’s a secret for ID Theft: